Kanchanaburi lies about 80 miles to the west of Bangkok and my main reason of wanting to go was to pay my respect at the Allied Cemeteries and to see the death railway bridge. It took a good few hours to get there though, using the skytrain and then a little mini bus. I saw what I wanted to see as soon as I got there; it certainly was a very humbling experience.
Deaw had her friend pick us up and she was then basically duty driver for the day which was good. Her name was "Oi". Yep, it really was. I even asked several times thinking I'd misheard but that was her genuine name (unless they were having me on, but they didn't appear to be). At least it's a unique name I thought. We all then headed out of town to see both a Chinese and Thai temple that were next to each other, the Wat Tham Khao Noi and the Wat Tham Seua. It was interesting to see the different designs, I particularly liked the Thai temple as it looked a lot plainer than the extravagant Chinese temple, however, when you go inside it's a huge cave which was very impressive. It also had a bloody big Buddha outside (18 meters tall) which was good.
Deaw, Oi and I then went back to the more tourist part of Kanchanburi and looked around a night market prior to going out for a few. It was at this market that I spotted a tray of chickens feet, battered chickens feet. I asked the others what they were like and they told me they were nice so I bought a few and also a few Chang as I thought I'd definitely need this to help wash the foot down. Deaw and Oi didn't mess around biting into the toes so I thought I'd just get stuck in. The toes themselves were fine and I got them down but as you move up the foot the bone gets bigger and harder and is less easy to get down. Also while you're munching, you can't help but wonder, where has this chicken been? What has he been walking on? Did this little store on a market wash the feet before battering and frying them? I thought not but told myself at least they're not battery chickens who spend their lives marching in their own s***… Well I hoped they weren't anyway. My effort was pretty poor while Deaw and Oi smashed there's down. It was an interesting pre-night out snack. The night out that followed was a good laugh, the more drunk the ladies got, the more their ability to speak English deteriorated until eventually they could hardly say a word. They were both sick, I think it was the Jägermeister I had introduced them to.
The following day we were heading to a "Floating Market". I had never heard of these but apparently there are a few scattered around. I just thought it would be like a market on a floating pontoon or something. The Oi from the night before was not going so instead a different friend picked us up. We got in the car and I was introduced to the new driver, her name was "Oi". Naturally I started laughing at the fact that I had met another Oi but was sternly told by Deaw that "She's not Oi, she is Ooi". A slight difference but still, I reckon I'd met two Oi's in 24 hours which I was impressed with. On the way we picked up two more friends. The first, I couldn't say his name but he was happy if I called him Phillip. The second we met at a service station on the way. Her name was Fern. She reminded me a lot like the chap from Gangnam Style. The floating market was actually pretty special. You get into a little boat and just float around this river, with shops on either side selling all sorts. After a few hours of floating around, I parted company with Deaw, Ooi, Phillip and Gangnam, and then travelled back to Bangkok for my final night. I chose my next location, a place called Krabi Town which looked like a good place to hit prior to bouncing around the islands.
The flight was the next morning with Thai Lion Air and cost £19 and that included 15kg free checked in luggage and 7kg hand luggage which I thought was good. I got to the airport, checked in and decided to get a bit of scran. I chose some sort of pork balls in like a soup with noodles which came with youtiao which are basically like chicken balls you get from the Chinese back home, minus the chicken. It actually tasted quite nice although I am not convinced it was a meal suitable for breakfast. I got 3 pork balls in when it happened… CRUNCH. I bit into something that shouldn't have been there. I got a tissue, spat it out and popped it on the side and then ate around the pork balls. It was only when I was leaving that I looked down at the table and the tissue had unravelled when I saw what it was. The size of this honking bit of unidentified "thing", instantly made me start heaving. I got out of the restaurant immediately but then spent the next 45 minutes or so, gagging uncontrollably at the thought of it. This included going through security, which wasn't ideal. It was an important lesson for me. After that chicken's foot I had clearly felt invincible, I'd try anything. I had got complacent and forgot that I am susceptible to gopping lumps in food, it has happened to me before and I should have been more careful. A chicken sandwich springs to mind when I was driving… Crunch, followed by a lot of heaving which is never good when you're doing 70 on a motorway. Anyway, that was my first taste of Bangkok. I have barely scratched the surface of things to do and see but I will be hitting it several times over the next few months so I'm in no rush. Next stop Krabi Town.